Fewer Words, Longer Books

rigorous, quantitative analyses to confirm the trend, so what I really have is a suspicion based on inference, internal logic, and anecdotal evidence; however, it struck me as a sufficiently interesting observation that I should desire to share it with you.  The trend is this: the English language is losing words (ironic, considering our post about word creation), and is using more of them to compensate.

A Very Bad Terrible Part of Speech

inspires strong opinions.  Most people, and even many authors, use rules of grammar and understanding of grammar as best practices that help enable clarity of communication.  Some people, like me, get a little too fixated on the rules of grammar, like avoiding dangling prepositions.  The outlier is a particular part of speech that many people, and not just those who wield the pen on a regular basis, apparently love to hate: adverbs.

Make Anachronisms a Thing of the Past

I don't actually know how much this post will help you in ridding your works of pesky anachronisms, but the title just seemed to clever to resist. If you're not already familiar, an anachronism is a literary, spatial or temporal (usually temporal) transplant. A detail, a phrase, an expression, a device, or really anything else could be an anachronism; most commonly these are stock expressions or devices of our own time that we accidentally put into our works. Nor are they unique to literature, as there are plenty of examples in movies and other media. For instance, perhaps a period movie might show cars from a later model year driving around in the background. Or my personal favorite, when an author or screenwriter has archers "fire" their arrows, an expression which could not predate the advent of firearms. This last one even made its way into The Lord of the Rings movies (notably during the battle at Helm's Deep).